Good question. Train your ear.
And practice on comparing your projects with reference trks.
Keep in mind the amount of gear the other has.
Altho... A decent "pair of cans & monitors" (( over the head headphones <<< there's even a difference in headphones. Check the forum. )) and monitors not speakers their is a difference. )) two your set up would not hurt.
Annnnd..... Also keep in mind as welling caustic is no more two start getting your ideas down quick fast in a hurry of around being busy inna mobile environment.
Always the professionals dat use caustic from back in the day would suggest transfer your ideas two a d.a.w.
what do i know.
My person is like u and i have found a caustic file ratio in size compare two a d.a.w. file is 1 to 5 ratio.
But quality is about the same as the ratio.
And even then i still didn't think my mastering was dat good.
Spook u have two be humble and be accepting of its not gonna be perfect after 10 attempts of mastering the same trk.
If u get it within 45 then u have improve training your ears.
I saw sum mess about ear training theory in Google play store. Idk if its legit or not or just sum game. The ol' skool blind fold test of knowing which key u r plsying.
Weather constant or dissonant sounds is important of u gonna go dat route of training your ears.
I have attempt but not been dat serious two improve my ears.
Because its just as much work as learning any instrument plus this on top.
Honestly..... I take it 1 day st a time.
If i get two it, i do. .
I think their is a around about answer two your question of what does it take two make a studio.... Not sure if u need this forum link either.
But look up "bass traps" in the forum search. Very insitefull read. I will look it up inna few. I can't find the article in my search. ((( and i can't remember who the individual was but they was building bass traps in their spare time for two improve how sound travels in their space. )))
I did no re - look at these threads I was inspired win my person saw the titles very sure something is herre for u.
@derrtiblu, Thanks a lot for the tips and links.